What Caused The Civil War?

Why did the South secede from the Union?

  • Slavery

  • State's Rights

  • None Above

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May 18, 2011
Carlisle, PA
Really, smart was starting a war that killed 600,000? It's not like they hadn't sat down and compromised before. What was so different this time?
The collapse of the Whig Party and the sectional splitting of the Democratic Party, the deaths of the great compromisers, the sectional hardening of the position on the expansion of slavery, and the slipping of the reins of power from Southern hands all played major roles. By the 1850s, there simply were no more compromises that would prevent a clash.

And to be fair, no one in 1860 believed that the war would cost that many lives and by the time that the scale of the war was realized, it was far too late to stop it.

May 27, 2011
los angeles ca
Hi again! I was reading this post about historians divided about why the Civil War happened. What do you guys think?
It's kind of amazing that people debate what caused the Civil War. The Ordinances of Secession and the Declerations of the causes of Seccession are very well articulated. Us we have plenty of pro war editorials from various Democratic newspapers in the South.
@CW Watch Collector had a good thread with lots of examples of the above.
Yes it was all about slavery.
No one has yet mentioned the good and gentle Parson John Brown. Yes Brown's raid was a debacle but most disturbing to the slave owners was Brown being elevated to marytar in the eyes of many in the North.
Also public opinion about slavery was changing and not for the better as far as slave owners were concerned. Abolitionists militarily defeated the Missouri Border Ruffians in Kansas. Kansas was admitted as a free state in the waning days of the Buchanan Administration.
Also Lincoln won the presidential election.
Put all three factors together and yes things are plenty different by 1861 as far as far as slave owners were concerned.
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